The sporophore is obsolete when the spore-bearing hyphae are not sharply distinct from the mycelium, simple when the constituent hyphae are isolated, and compound when the latter are conjoined.
According to the characters of the last, we might theoretically divide them into conidiophores, sporangiophores, gametophores, oidiophores, &c.; but since the two latter rarely occur, and more than one kind of spore or spore-case may occur on a sporophore, it is impossible to carry such a scheme fully into practice.
A simple sporophore may be merely a single short hypha, the end of which stops growing and becomes cut off as a conidium by the formation of a septum, which then splits and allows the conidium to fall.
The simple sporophore does not necessarily terminate in conidia, however.
Since in such cases the sporophore bears sexual cells, they may be conveniently termed gametophores.
Us to cases where the main mass of the sporophore forms a supporting tissue of closely crowded or interwoven hyphae, the sporogenous terminal parts of the hyphae being found at the periphery or apical regions only.
Here we have the cushion-like type (stroma) of Nectria and many Pyrenomycetes, the clavate "receptacle" of Clavaria, &c., passing into the complex forms met with in Sparassis, Xylaria, Polyporei, and Agaricini, &c. In these cases the compound sporophore is often termed the hymenophore, and its various parts demand special names (pileus, stipes, gills, po--es, &c.) to denote peculiarities of distribution of the hymenium owlthe surface.
By this means the temperature of the sporophore is raised and the difference between it and the surrounding air may be one of several degrees.
Most of Basidiomycetes are characterized by the large sporophore on which the basidia with its basidiospores are borne.
Hirneola (Auricularia) Auricula-Judae is the well-known Jew's Ear, so named from the resemblance of the sporophore to a human ear.